Stomach balloon procedure is a new weight-loss method aiming to reduce the amount of food eaten per meal and increase the feeling of fullness for a longer time after eating only small meals.
This kind of weight-loss method can help you lose weight without major surgery, by inserting a balloon into the stomach that occupies a lot of its space to reduce the amount of food eaten.
Before performing a stomach balloon procedure
The doctor will ask you not to drink or eat anything for six hours before the appointment, and not to eat for twelve hours before the procedure. You need to follow these instructions well or you may feel nauseous after inflating the stomach balloon.
The procedure takes about 20 minutes. Depending on the type of balloon you choose, you may be given a mild sedative or anesthetic drug so that you do not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
It is advisable to arrange how to return to your home after the procedure, as you will need someone to help you because your balance will be disturbed.
Your surgeon may prescribe you some medications to deal with nausea and esophageal reflux disease so that you do not feel these symptoms after the procedure.
How is a stomach balloon performed?
Although there are many different operations for weight loss, the gastric balloon has become a common choice, because it doesn’t necessitate surgery during its procedure.
The stomach balloon is a small, smooth balloon made of silicone. It is inserted into the stomach through the mouth, then the balloon partially fills the stomach. This makes the patient feel full rapidly.
During the procedure, the balloon is inserted through the esophagus with the help of a very thin and flexible tube. Although the stomach balloon is not a surgical operation, you are given a mild analgesic to keep a painless procedure and as comfortable as possible.
This procedure takes at least 15 minutes and allows you to go home on the same day.
After about six months, the stomach balloon is deflated and removed. After that time, the average weight lost by the procedure is about 20-30% of the original extra weight, although it varies too much depending on the person himself.
Who is fit for a stomach balloon?
It is usually recommended to use a stomach balloon for those who need to lose weight but, they don’t tolerate other traditional weight loss methods.
Whether before surgery or as a non-surgical treatment, it is a great method to lose weight safely and effectively.
If you are using a stomach balloon instead of other surgical options, it is important to know that it may be a slower way to lose weight and may not give you good results with very heavyweight. So people fit for a stomach balloon need a BMI between 27 and 35.
Many people prefer to use the stomach balloon over other invasive surgeries because it has fewer risks during the procedure.
It is also a much less expensive way to lose weight than other many surgical options, although it is important to weigh the pros and cons of what you seek to achieve in terms of losing weight.
However, it is important to realize that those who undergo stomach balloon procedures can also experience mild complications.
Like any other procedure, complications can include discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms are common especially in the early stages of the procedure, but if you feel any pain that the surgeon didn’t warn you about, it is important to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Types of available stomach balloons:
Many types of stomach balloons are provided by slimming doctors, each one of them has different benefits. But in general, you may find results almost the same. The key point is the personal desire of each patient, and how long it takes to reach the desired weight loss.
1-Orbera stomach balloon
The Orbera gastric balloon is made of soft inflatable silicone. Once this balloon is placed in the stomach, it is distended with saline.
This is an auxiliary method for non-surgical options of weight loss in the short term. It provides very good results as long as it is present in the stomach. It was approved in 2015.
The procedure is done while the patient is under anesthesia to achieve maximum comfort while placing the balloon. The doctor inserts the balloon through an internal pathway, which passes through the mouth. The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes. It is a very safe procedure.
Patients go home on the same day of the procedure and can usually resume normal activities immediately.
Removing the Orbera gastric balloon will be the same as inserting it, as you will be partially anesthetized, and the doctor will remove the balloon using an endoscope. The Orbera gastric balloon is the most used brand in many countries including the United States.
2-Reshape stomach Balloon
Reshape stomach balloon aims to improve the effectiveness of balloons inside the stomach with the use of two balloons instead of only one.
This non-surgical device is inserted orally by performing a 30-minute endoscopy. It is inflated with about 900 ml of saline, which is divided equally on each balloon of the two.
The balloon is then inflated by a control device provided with a methylene blue saline. This double-balloon system may reduce complications associated with shrinkage.
If one of the balloons is ruptured, the other balloon can keep it in its place in the stomach. It is recommended to remove the balloon 6 months after inserting it. This type of balloons was approved by the American Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) in 2015.
3-Spatz stomach balloon
The Spatz stretchable balloon system is a silicone balloon inflated with saline. This procedure requires the use of a catheter which can be extracted by an endoscopic. It provides adjustment of the stomach volume from 400-800 ml.
The balloon size can be fitted inside the stomach to improve patient tolerance and enhance weight loss. It also provides the implantation of an adaptable Spatz balloon system in the stomach for a maximum of 12 months.
4-Obalon stomach balloon
Obalon Stomach Balloon is a balloon filled with about 250 milliliters of air. It contains a self-locking valve attached to a catheter and fixed to the gelatin capsule.
The balloon is packed into the gelatin capsule which is swallowed. A thin fine catheter is inserted along the esophagus to the stomach, then the endoscope is used to determine the balloon position inside the stomach. After that, the gelatin capsule dissolves and the balloon is released.
Then, the balloon is inflated with a gas cylinder. Eventually, the catheter is detached from the balloon and removed after its inflation.